It was not necessary and might even have been disadvantageous for a government to claim a direct personal commission and communion of the kind God had given some rulers in the Old Testament. A working government might need the support of the Church but not of God Himself in a voice from on high.
It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.
It used to be that phrases and lines would come into my head, often many of them in a period of five days or a week, and maybe I didn’t know what I was talking about, but the words had a kind of heaviness or deliciousness to them.
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
Whether you listen to a piece of music, or a poem, or look at a picture or a jug, or a piece of sculpture, what matters about it is not what it has in common with others of its kind, but what is singularly its own.
For a lot of people, well-meaning teaching has made poetry seem arcane, difficult, a kind of brown-knotting medicine that might be good for you but doesn’t taste so good. So I tried to make a collection of poetry that would be fun. And that would bring out poetry as an art, rather than the challenge to say smart things.
My shorthand answer is that I try to write the kind of book that I would like to read. If I can make it clear and interesting and compelling to me, then I hope maybe it will be for the reader.
I’ve not been a prolific poet, and it always seemed to me to be a bad idea to feel that you had to produce in order to get… credits. Production of a collection of poems every three years or every five years, or whatever, looks good, on paper. But it might not be good; it might be writing on a kind of automatic pilot.
Poetry, as odd as it is, and as hard to figure out as it is, many times, it’s almost something that we’re used to. It’s kind of like a dream language that we had centuries ago, so that when we speak poetically or write a poem about what’s going on, a real difficult issue that’s facing our communities, people listen.
Fools may our scorn, not envy, raise. For envy is a kind of praise.